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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Heart drugs may prevent cancer

Monday May 21st, 2012

Statins were developed to reduce cholesterol and found to have a range of other benefits for heart patients - and new findings suggest this may include preventing cancer.

This is a side-benefit for heart transplant patients, according to a new European study.

Research in Zurich, Switzerland, found that patients who took statins enjoyed a 65 per cent reduction in the risk of cancer.

The findings were reported to a conference on Heart Failure organised by the European Society of Cardiology in Belgrade, Serbia, yesterday.

Researchers studied the fate of some 255 heart transplant patients at University Hospital Zurich. Some 108 patients developed cancer.

Doctors are advised to prescribe statins for heart transplant patients to help protect the arteries.

Researcher Dr Frank Enseleit said the study showed extra benefits - suggesting that patients should take statins for the rest of their lives.

He said: “We have shown that statin therapy prevents cancer in heart transplant recipients and it is known that statins also prevent graft atherosclerosis. We have to conclude that it should be a lifelong therapy in heart transplant recipients.”

* The conference also received new guidelines on the use of drugs, devices and diagnosis in heart failure.

Developers say left ventricular assist devices will now be used increasingly as a treatment in their own right.

Developer Professor John McMurray, from Glasgow, UK, said: "These guidelines make recommendations based upon evidence for established and new diagnostic tests and therapies for heart failure. If implemented, they offer a real opportunity to improve the outcome of patients with this condition."

He added: "Left ventricular assist devices will increasingly be used as a treatment in their own right, not just as a temporary support while awaiting transplantation."

Tags: Cancer | Europe | Heart Health | Transplant

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Comments

1At 21/05/2012 09:55pm Editor wrote

Useful link from the ESC for people concerned about heart failure: http://www.heartfailurematters.org

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